Ministry of Justice

B.C.'s Prosecution Service

The Vision - Courageous, Fair and Efficient – a Prosecution Service that has the confidence of the public

As an integral part of the Ministry of Justice, the Criminal Justice Branch will deliver on its core responsibilities in a manner that safeguards prosecutorial independence, and supports an effective justice system through communication, collaborative effort and innovation. The Branch’s core responsibilities include: (1) approving and conducting criminal and regulatory prosecutions; (2) initiating and responding to appeals; (3) providing criminal law advice to government; (4) developing policies and procedures on the administration of criminal justice; (5) liaising with the media and the public on prosecution matters; and (6) any other function or responsibility assigned to the Branch by the Attorney General.

Prosecution files are managed as one part of the overall criminal justice system:


Independence of Crown Counsel

As mandated under the Crown Counsel Act, Crown counsel make their prosecutorial decisions independent of any outside influence.

Latest News

April 14 2014

No Charges Approved against Lakeland Mills Ltd.

Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch, Ministry of Justice, announced that no charges will be approved in relation to the fire and explosion on April 23, 2012 at a sawmill operated by Lakeland Mills Ltd. in Prince George. Tragically, two workers died and 22 others were injured as a result of this incident.

March 31, 2014

No Charges Approved in Two IIO Investigations

Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch, Ministry of Justice, announced that no charges have been approved against police officers involved in two incidents which occurred in April and in August of 2013, and were investigated by the Independent Investigations Office (IIO). The incidents took place in Vancouver and Williams Lake respectively.

March 14, 2014

The Criminal Justice Branch announced appointments of three separate Special Prosecutors in relation to the following matters:

Victoria - R. v. Leslie. On November 1, 2013, Michael Tammen, QC, was appointed as a Special Prosecutor in relation to an RCMP investigation into abusive and threatening comments directed towards Member of the Legislative Assembly Mike Bernier.
R. v. Leonardo Nathan Fierro. On January 17, 2014, Kris Pechet was appointed as a Special Prosecutor in relation to an allegation that a prosecutor was threatened during a bail hearing in Nelson.
R. v. Michael Melvin Williams. On March 11, 2014, Mark Jetté was appointed as a Special Prosecutor in relation to an incident which occurred at the constituency office of Member of the Legislative Assembly Spencer Chandra Herbert.

February 20, 2014

Stanley Cup Riot Charge Update

Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch of the Ministry of Justice, British Columbia’s Prosecution Service, confirms that charges have been approved and sworn against an additional 14 adults in connection with the Stanley Cup Riot on June 15, 2011.

February 17, 2014

Prostitution-Related Cases Will Continue in B.C.

Victoria - In response to a recent decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Criminal Justice Branch has provided British Columbia prosecutors with guidelines to assist them in assessing the public interest in proceeding with prostitution-related offences.

January 29, 2014

No Charges Approved in Three IIO Investigations

Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch (CJB), Ministry of Justice, announced that no charges have been approved in three separate incidents which occurred in the summer of 2013, and were investigated by the Independent Investigations Office (IIO).

January 16, 2014

Bountiful – Update from Special Prosecutor

Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch confirms that special prosecutor Peter Wilson, QC is continuing his charge assessment review in relation to individuals associated to the community of Bountiful.

January 10, 2014

No Charges Approved against Babine Forest Products

Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch, Ministry of Justice, announced that no criminal or regulatory charges will be approved in relation to the explosion(s) and fire that destroyed the Babine Forest Products sawmill at Burns Lake, on January 20, 2012.

December 20, 2013

Charge Approved Against Police Officer in Motor Vehicle Collision

Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch has approved a charge under the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act against Constable Graham Bosa of the New Westminster Police Department. The charge results from an on duty incident that occurred on August 13, 2013.

December 19, 2013

Dangerous Driving Charge Approved Against Police Officer

Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch has approved a charge of Dangerous Driving against Constable Micah Chan of the R.C.M.P. in relation to an on duty incident on June 20, 2013 in Salmon Arm, in which he allegedly engaged in a high speed pursuit of another vehicle. The incident was investigated by the Independent Investigations Office (IIO).

November 27, 2013

Stay of Proceedings Directed in Care Home Death

Victoria - In August 2013, John “Jack” Daymouth Furman was charged with second degree murder in the death of William May. Both Mr. Furman and Mr. May were residing in a care facility in Vernon. The Criminal Justice Branch (the "Branch") has concluded that a prosecution against Mr. Furman is no longer required in the public interest. As such, the murder charge was stayed by Crown Counsel in court on November 27, 2013.

October 28, 2013

No Criminal Charge Approved in the Death of Paul Boyd

Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch, Ministry of Justice, announced that independent Special Prosecutor Mark R. Jetté has concluded that no criminal charge will be approved against Constable Lee Chipperfield of the Vancouver Police Department in connection with the shooting death of Paul Boyd on August 13, 2007. A Clear Statement explaining the decision of the Special Prosecutor in greater detail is attached to this release.

October 21, 2013

Crown Files Appeals in Two Cases

Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch announced today that it has filed appeals on behalf of the Crown with the Court of Appeal for British Columbia in two separate cases: R. v. A.K. Hecimovic and R. v. D.A. McPherson.

October 15, 2013

Stanley Cup Riot Charge Update

Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch of the Ministry of Justice, British Columbia’s prosecution service, confirms that charges have been approved and sworn against an additional 19 accused persons in connection with the Stanley Cup Riot on June 15, 2011; 17 adults and 2 young persons.

October 4, 2013

No Charges In Fatal Accident at Craigmont Mine

Victoria - Following thorough reviews of the available evidence by three senior Crown Counsel, the Criminal Justice Branch of the Ministry of Justice has concluded that no criminal charges will be approved in connection with the death of a worker at the Craigmont Mine near Merritt.

September 26, 2013

Appointment of Special Prosecutor - Alleged Violations of the Provincial Election Act

Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch, Ministry of Justice (the Branch), announced that a Special Prosecutor has been appointed under the Crown Counsel Act, R.S.B.C 1996, c.87, to assist police with an ongoing investigation into alleged contraventions of the provincial Election Act.

August 14, 2013

No Charge Approved in Use of Force Involving Police Dog

Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch of the Ministry of Justice, British Columbia’s prosecution service, announced that the Branch has not approved any criminal charges against a member of the R.C.M.P. Police Service Dog Unit in connection with the arrest of a male suspect in North Vancouver on December 13, 2012.

August 8, 2013

Charges Approved Against Officer Involved in Cranbrook Shooting

Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch of the Ministry of Justice, British Columbia’s prosecution service, announced that it has approved charges against Constable Richard Drought of the R.C.M.P in connection with an incident alleged to have occurred in Cranbrook on October 2, 2012. Charges were approved following a review of an investigative report forwarded to the Branch by the Independent Investigations Office.

August 1, 2013

Stanley Cup Riot Charge Update

Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch, British Columbia’s prosecution service, confirms that charges have been approved and sworn against an additional 29 accused persons, 27 adults and two young persons, in connection with the Stanley Cup riot on June 15, 2011.

July 29, 2013

Criminal Justice Branch Declines Its Consent to Schoenborn's Request for a Transfer to Manitoba

Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch, Ministry of Justice (the "Branch"), announced that it has declined to provide its consent to Allan Dwayne Schoenborn's request for a transfer to a forensic psychiatric facility in Manitoba. As a result, he will remain at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia pending further review of his detention by the British Columbia Review Board.

July 26, 2013

Special Prosecutor Appointed In Abbotsford Investigation

Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch of the Ministry of Justice (the “Branch”) announced that Joseph M. Doyle has been appointed as a Special Prosecutor in relation to the matter of Armand Charles Belisle, Dylan Michel Majorel, Jakob Mosterd, and Samantha Dawn Patenaude, B.C. Provincial Court file 79669 – in Abbotsford. The accused are charged in relation to an incident on July 20, 2013 in Abbotsford involving an alleged breaking and entering, and robbery at the residence of Ryan Plecas.

July 22, 2013

No Charge Approved in Use of Force by Police in Port Alberni

Victoria -The Criminal Justice Branch of the Ministry of Justice announced that following a careful analysis of all available evidence, the Branch has decided not to approve any criminal charges against members of the Port Alberni detachment of the R.C.M.P. in connection with the arrest of a female on February 15, 2013.

July 18, 2013

Crown Files Appeal in Three Cases

Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch, Ministry of Justice, announced that it recently filed appeals on behalf of the Crown with the Court of Appeal for British Columbia in three separate cases. Each case has attracted public attention and/or engages matters of public interest and the Branch considers it appropriate to provide a status update.

July 9, 2013

Update on Status of Bountiful Investigation

Victoria - On July 3, 2013 independent Special Prosecutor Peter Wilson, QC received an investigative report prepared by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (R.C.M.P.) in relation to a portion of their extensive investigation into individuals associated with the community of Bountiful. After consulting with the R.C.M.P. and Mr. Wilson, and in view of the ongoing public attention to matters relating to Bountiful, the Criminal Justice Branch has concluded that it is appropriate to issue a public statement in relation to this development.